Marshall Kirkpatrick has turned into one of my favorite people, not only helping spread the word about Mailana but also coming up with new ways to use it. Most precious of all he's given me feedback about how to improve it.
One of his comments was that it's hard to see how your friends are grouped when they're all clustered around you. I've put in a fix, you can now remove yourself from the graph:
- Load your graph
- Single-click on yourself, and you should see a menu
- Choose 'Remove'
You should see the graph change shape, and your different groups of friends emerge more clearly. Previously everyone was orbiting around you, now they'll only be held together by conversations between themselves. That will likely mean that some people will fly off on their own as they have no connections to other people you talk to, and other clusters of people will emerge representing different groups. You may need to use the +/- zoom controls in the top left to explore the expanded view.
If you're a heavy Twitter user like Marshall, you might also like to try a hidden feature along with this. By default I only show your top 75 friends on the graph, but the 'showcount' URL option lets you increase that. Add showcount=150 to the end of your url to double the limit, for example
Now remove yourself from the graph and you should see a rich set of groups if you've got a lot of contacts on Twitter. Be warned though, the calculations involved put quite a strain on Flash, so be prepared for some slowdown!
I'll be looking at a more user-friendly way of exposing these options, possibly through a new advanced search panel, but for now give them a try and let me know what you think.